|[Part 3 of 4] United Nations A/AC.109/2111
Distr.: General 1 June 1998
Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration
on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples
East Timor Working paper prepared by the Secretariat
IV. Economic, social and educational conditions
30. In the absence of information submitted by the administering Power under Article 73
e of the Charter of the United Nations and for reasons explained in paragraph 52 below,
the following information on economic, social and educational conditions in the Territory
has been derived from the press releases of the Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the
United Nations, which have described the prevailing conditions as follows:
A. Economic growth
31. Information from the Government of Indonesia dated 7 August 1997 indicated that,
during the past 10 years, East Timor's economy has been growing at the average rate of 10
per cent a year higher than the 6.8 per cent growth recorded in the other provinces. The
Indonesian Government points out that East Timor's economic growth almost parallel led the
rapid economic growth of East Java and Yogjakarta. As a result, the income per capita of
the province has increased 10 times since the US$ 34.2 of the mid-1970s, according to the
32. According to the Indonesian Government, for the budget year 1997/1998, the amount
of government spending for development programmes was over 200 million rupiah. In order to
catch up with developments of other provinces, the Government has accorded priority to
East Timor and the development spending per capita was the highest when compared to other
33. In recent months, the development expenditure has included the following: President
Suharto inaugurated the giant statue of Christ the King at Fatumaca Hill, Dili; on 15
October 1996, several other development projects of approximately US$ 45 million were also
inaugurated by President Suharto; the Minister of Foreign Affairs launched 11 development
projects covering irrigation, bridges, water supply systems, schools, housing improvements
and waste/garbage disposal on 24 May 1997; and the Minister for Investment inaugurated two
factories in Dili for manufacturing textiles and iodized salt and which would
predominantly hire East Timorese.
34. The information also indicated that, as in the case of many provinces in Indonesia,
unemployment among the East Timorese youth remained a problem and needed to be addressed.
In this regard, during the last five years, a total of 1,508 young East Timorese have been
employed in the business sector in 10 Indonesian provinces. In addition, at the end of
1995, the Government recruited 2,000 East Timorese in the civil service sector, including
334 in the provincial government, 316 in the district government, 300 in the field of
education, 180 as paramedics, 175 in the agriculture sector, 120 in the public works and
the rest are employed in the private sector. Furthermore, the Government has established
vocational training programmes for the youth to become small-scale entrepreneurs.
35. The Operational Director of the United States-based National Cooperative Business
Association (NCBA) stated that East Timor's organic coffee products were exported to the
United States, Australia, New Zealand, Italy and the Netherlands. In cooperation with the
rural cooperative unit (Puksud), a total of 1,060 tons have been exported since 1995.
Besides exporting East Timor's coffee products to other countries, NCBA also provides
special training for local farmers and coffee growers.39
36. On 14 September 1997, the Australian Government announced that it would grant 4
million Australian dollars (US$ 2.88 million) to provide clean water to an additional
20,000 people of East Timor. The office of Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer
said that this support would continue the ongoing water supply and sanitation project for
18 months, until March 1999.40 ICRC head, Jeurg Frei, said that ICRC has also established
cooperation with the Indonesian Red Cross in implementing 54 projects aimed at providing
people with clean water.41
37. The following information was derived from other media sources:
E. Communications and transport
38. Indonesian Government statistics indicate that East Timor currently has almost
2,700 kilometres of modern asphalted roads, connecting the 13 districts of the 14,609
39. The Timor Kmanek, a new radio station sponsored by Dili Bishop Carlos Belo, was
inaugurated by "Governor" Soares on 4 February 1998. Mr. Soares said he hoped
that the new station would improve development in East Timor. Bishop Belo expressed hope
that the station would form a common bond among Catholics in East Timor's villages.
Broadcasts will be aired in the local Tetun language.43
F. Education and training
40. A reported 22 per cent (190,783) of the population of 857,000 receive formal
education. East Timor has five universities, with total enrolment of 5,000. There are 239
schools including 63 kindergartens, 114 junior high schools, 37 senior high schools and 16
vocational training schools. At least 3,416 teachers are employed at the schools. Local
authorities state that about 17,000 East Timorese are jobless and the number is expected
to rise by 4,000 annually, due to the disparity in job opportunities and new graduates.44
41. A press release dated 5 July 1997 announced that the Norwegian oil company,
Statoil, will sponsor young East Timorese to travel to Norway to receive training in oil
exploration. Under a five-year accord, an initial sum of approximately US$ 483,000 would
finance the training of five or six students. A Norwegian organization, World Viem Right,
and the Cardinal Martinho da Costa Lopes foundation would manage the grants.45 Another
press report stated that the Norwegian Government, through the Oslo-based Bishop Belo
Educational Foundation, had offered scholarships to East Timorese students to pursue their
studies in Norwegian universities. The Foundation provided scholarships for some 300
students from different countries in 1997.46
G. Health care
42. Health facilities include 11 hospitals, 256 community health centres, 288 auxiliary
community health centres and 1,003 integrated health service posts. Almost every health
centre has one or two doctors and a dozen nurses.47
43. Several religions are practised in East Timor. There are 765,135 Catholics, 30,538
Protestants, 24,938 Muslims, 5,500 Hindus and 2,787 Buddhists.48
44. The East Timor administration needs more funds to build new houses for indigenous
people, who are still living in leaf-roofed huts in many areas. Each "regency"
may require at least 1 billion rupiah in assistance to improve the people's welfare and
build them adequate housing.49
45. There is ample potential for the development of a tourism industry in East Timor.
The enclave of Ambeno, Atauro and Jaco islands are touted as having the most potential.
The islands have various natural tourist attractions and several cultural and historical
sites. Hot water springs at Maurobo in the Bobonaro regency and the fortresses of Balibo
and Maubara are also potential tourist attractions. Vast coffee plantations in Ermera and
Ainaro, well known for cool weather, are considered interesting sites. White sandy beaches
in Dili, Liquica and Baucau, as well as the sea gardens in Behau and Atauro, could attract
tourists to East Timor.50
46. On 7 July 1997, the local transmigration office announced that 560 families from
Indonesian islands and East Timor would be settled in East Timor in three transmigration
sites. The "provincial" administration would offer families training and
development while the Indonesian Ministry of Transmigration's local office would provide
land and tools for young farmers in the "crash programme" to reduce
unemployment. According to the local ministry's office, 6,484 families, or 28,950
resettlers, are now living in East Timor. Of those, 2,300 families were being trained in
farming and the remaining 4,148 families were under the Ministry's supervision.51 Since
1982, the Indonesian Government has resettled a total of 8,940 families, most of them from
Java, to improve social and cultural conditions.52
47. In November 1997, the Australia-Indonesia joint authority approved the US$ 42
million development plan for the oil field in the Timor Gap, clearing the way for first
production in December 1998. A 1989 Timor Gap Treaty divided the 61,000 square kilometres
stretch of continental shelf between East Timor and Australia, believed to contain huge
oil and gas reserves. Partners in the development include BHP Petroleum, Santos, Inpex
Sahul and Petroz.53 East Timor "Governor" Soares said he had been encouraging
contractors to make districts of Betano, Natabora and Viqueque their base camp for the
exploration.54 A report indicated that if the giant storage tank was constructed in East
Timor, this could employ 1,000 workers in the next three years.55 Scores of East Timorese
youth were joining oil and gas training programmes in Central Java.56
39 ANTARA, 30 July 1997.
40 Ibid., 15 September 1997.
41 The Indonesian Times, 15 October 1997.
42 The Indonesian Observer, 18 July 1997.
43 Ibid., 5 February 1998.
44 Ibid., 18 July 1997.
45 Agence France-Presse, 5 July 1997.
46 Berita Antara, 2 April 1998.
47 The Indonesian Observer, 18 July 1997.
51 The Jakarta Post, 8 July 1997.
52 The Indonesian Observer, 18 July 1997.
53 The Jakarta Post, 31 October 1997; The Age: Melbourne Online, 7 November 1997.
54 ANTARA, 7 July 1997.
55 Berita Antara, 24 February 1998.
56 The Indonesian Times, 4 November 1997.
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